Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles

Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles

Is IP a Lex Specialis?

ATRIP Intellectual Property series

Edited by Graeme B. Dinwoodie

The rule of lex specialis serves as an interpretative method to determine which of two contesting norms should be used to govern. In this book, the lex specialis label is broadly applied to intellectual property and connects a series of questions: What is the scope of intellectual property law? What is the relationship between intellectual property law and general legal principles? To what extent are intellectual property laws exceptional? Drawn together by leading IP scholar Graeme Dinwoodie, these questions and others are answered carefully and reflectively by a team of expert international contributors.

Chapter 10: A “bundle” of national patents v a European patent with unitary effect: A jurisdictional comparison

Torsten Bjørn Larsen

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


The purpose of this chapter is to compare the rules of jurisdiction that apply to litigation of certain claims based on the existing “bundle” of national patent rights within the EU – that is, where there are two or more corresponding national patent rights within the EU – with the rules of jurisdiction that apply to the same claims made on the basis of the future European patent with unitary effect (hereinafter EPUE). The former rules are found in the Brussels I Regulation (hereinafter BR) if the defendant is domiciled in the EU, in the Lugano Convention if the defendant is domiciled in the EFTA, or in the Member States’ own private international laws if the defendant is domiciled outside the EU/EFTA. The latter rules are found exclusively in the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (hereinafter AUPC). This chapter is limited to cases where the defendant is domiciled in the EU. But it examines the jurisdictional rules governing national patent rights regardless of whether they have been applied for via a centralized procedure such as the European Patent Convention or the Patent Corporation Treaty systems or on a Member State-by-Member State basis. I have not covered the Unified Patent Court’s (UPC) competence on European patents, unless the parties choose to opt out.

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